Ratatouille And Parmesan Ricotta Polenta- As Seen On Home Made Simple

December 10, 2017

Home Chef, Laila Ali teaches The Froehlich family how to make a Ratatouille and creamy Parmigiano Polenta on Episode 6 of Home Made Simple on OWN!


This is just one of many recipes that can be found in Laila’s NEW cookbook Food For Life, which is available for pre-sale at Barnes and Noble! http://bit.ly/BNFoodForLife


Serves: 6 – 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Intermediate


Ingredients for Ratatouille:

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled or unpeeled—your choice
Sea salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large yellow onion chopped
2 medium red or yellow bell peppers, or a combination, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 medium tomatoes (about 1¾ pounds), chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup cooked adzuki beans, black beans, cannellini beans, or lentils
¼ cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Steps Ratatouille:

1. Cut the eggplant into ¾-inch pieces
2. Place them in a colander, add ½ teaspoon salt, toss, and set aside for about 30 minutes while you prep your ingredients
3. Pat the eggplant dry with a paper towel
4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat
5. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes
6. Add the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes, or until just starting to soften
7. Add the bay leaf and garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until aromatic
8. Add the fennel, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, adding a tiny bit of water if the mixture starts to stick to the pan
9. Add the eggplant and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring for 1 minute
10. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the eggplant is starting to soften
11. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and vinegar. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to
a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium- low and cook, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the eggplant and tomatoes are almost completely softened and the tomatoes start to thicken into a light sauce
12. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant and zucchini are softened, taking care not to overcook the zucchini
13. Add the beans and stir until heated through
14. Turn off the heat and stir in the olives, basil, and parsley, then taste and add more salt, black pepper, and/or vinegar if needed
15. Remove the bay leaf, spoon into bowls, and serve, drizzled with a little oil


Ingredients for Creamy Parmigiano Polenta:

1 cup water, more as needed
1 cup low-fat milk
½ cup polenta
Kosher salt
½ cup low-fat ricotta cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons whole basil leaves


Steps for Creamy Parmigiano Polenta:

1. In a saucier pan or saucepan, combine the water and milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat
2. When it simmers, sprinkle the polenta gradually into the pot, stirring briskly with a whisk to prevent lumps from forming
3. Add a pinch of salt and continue simmering over medium-low heat, stirring frequently with a whisk
4. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the polenta does not have a gritty mouthfeel when tasted
5. Stir in ¼ cup ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese and stir with a whisk or wooden spoon until the cheese is melted
6. While the polenta is cooking, chiffonade the basil leaves: stack the leaves and roll tightly into a cigar shape
7. Use a knife to cut through the roll crosswise to make thin shreds of basil. Set aside
8. To serve, spoon a portion of polenta (about ½ cup) onto each plate. Top with a dollop of about 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese and sprinkle with some of the basil chiffonade
9. Serve immediately.



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